Meet Our Team
This presentation will address being qualified and accepted as an expert witness for courts in the US and in the UK. Both presenters are accepted experts in many courts, and this seminar will introduce the process, the standards for expert opinion, and then give examples of good and bad testimony in a practical demonstration.
Helen Howell is a forensic behaviourist, researcher, and leading UK expert witness. A former police detective with 16 years police service, Helen, following her retirement from the police, pursued a career in animal behaviour.
Helen graduated with a first-class honours degree in Canine Behaviour and Management and is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Lincoln where her subject of research is assessing the risk of human-directed aggression in dogs.
Helen has worked with dogs all over the world including street dogs in Sri Lanka and India, and Spanish hunting dogs at the Galgos del Sol Rescue in Spain. She is one of the UK’s leading expert witnesses providing expert evidence for dangerous dog cases across the country, including cases involving life changing injury and fatality.
In the past, common practices for handling cats included full body restraint and scruffing. However, these methods often led to protective emotions(fear, anxiety, frustration, and stress) and defensive behaviors. The introduction of the AAFP/ISFM Feline Friendly Guidelines in 2011 marked a shift in this approach. These guidelines emphasize the importance of recognizing stress signals in cats and modifying the environment to minimize stress, promoting a more welfare-friendly approach when interacting with and handling cats. These guidelines were updated once again in 2022, further discouraging the use of methods such as tight towel wraps and muzzles in cats due to their recognized negative impact on cat welfare. In this presentation, we will explore the latest developments and methods for interacting with and handling cats. Our focus will be on discussing the most effective techniques that enhance the emotional well-being of cats, by respecting and understanding their unique, species-specific behaviors and needs.
Aggression in dogs is the number one reason caregivers seek help from a board-certified veterinary behaviorist. Aggression can have many causes, from negative emotional states and protective emotions to underlying medical causes that are the reason for and contributing factor to the behavior. In this presentation, both medical and behavioral differentials for canine aggression will be explored. Additionally, a comprehensive treatment plan will be presented, including highlights from specific cases.
Medications often play an integral role in comprehensive treatment plans. This presentation will outline the various classes of medications prescribed for behavioral cases, detailing their mechanisms of action and the criteria for their selection. It will also distinguish between situational versus maintenance medications, explaining what these terms mean and how to choose the most suitable medication for each patient.
Dr. James W. Crosby is a retired Police Lieutenant and has professionally trained dogs and addressed canine behavior problems since 1999. He became a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed in 2016 and is also a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.
Holding a Master of Science degree in Veterinary Forensics and having a PhD in Veterinary Medical Science from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida, Dr. Crosby is recognized in and out of court as an expert, internationally and across the US, on dangerous dogs, canine aggression, fatal dog attacks, and related issues. Dr. Crosby is a Research Associate with the Canine Brain Project within the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.
Dr. Crosby is an Associate Member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, a Charter Member of the International Veterinary Forensic Science Association, a Full Member of the International Society for Animal Forensic Science, a Certified Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and is honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
This seminar will discuss Jim’s experience consulting with, training, and reviewing shelters and animal services agencies around the world. Jim will talk about differing standards, cultural diversity, and how we can advise without appearing to dictate to or judge the workers that aim to improve animal welfare outside the US.
This presentation will examine the causes of this behavior, and how to assess and treat it using applied behavior analysis. Presentation will include case studies.
This presentation will examine the results of data collected in a clinical setting on hundreds of owned reactive and/or aggressive dogs being introduced to a fake dog. Attendees will gain an understanding of the principles of stimulus control, how to evaluate the function of the reactivity, how to conduct a fake dog assessment, and how to utilize the results in creating a behavior plan. Comparisons to existing literature on the topic will also be discussed.
This presentation will discuss the causes of aggression in puppies, examine how to assess the behavior and identify possible contributing factors, discuss the best practices to treat it, and the possible complicating factors and prognosis.
Jocelyn has worked full time as a Clinical Behaviorist at the MSPCA-Angell in Boston, MA since 2016. Jocelyn earned her BA from Connecticut College and her Master’s in Companion Animal Behavior Analysis and Counseling from the American College of Applied Science. Her master’s thesis was a research study evaluating the effects of Feliway on stress behaviors in cats in a shelter environment. Jocelyn is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and is also a certified veterinary technician. She previously worked as a technician in the ER and other specialty vet services. In her current role, Jocelyn primarily sees clients and their cats and dogs for behavior consults. Her additional experience includes teaching group dog & cat training classes, conducting private training sessions with owners and their dogs and cats, and assisting with behavior problems in shelter animals. In addition to her formal education and training, Jocelyn has also learned a lot from her everyday hands on training with her own dogs & cats, including her adopted reactive dog, Sugar.
Dr. Feltes graduated from The Ohio State University’s vet school in 2006. She became a mom in 2007 and opened a mobile veterinary behavior service when her son was 3wks old (crazy, she knows!). The clinic has grown over 16 years into a 3000 sq. ft. facility with multiple diplomats, technicians and trainers. Along the way, she and her firefighter hubs have had 2 sons, LOTS of animals, and lots of laughs.
Dr. Feltes opened another center in 2023, housing her clinic’s behavior therapy services for patients and offering science-based, positive-reinforcement training classes for the public. She is a Behavior Guide for VetHive, mentors an ACVB resident in Calgary, and loves to engage audiences from the podium! In her spare time, she can be found riding her horses, skiing, kayaking, and drinking wine.
Castration has found itself at the heart of controversy on whether or not to proceed with the snip! Discussion in this hour will involve scientific findings surrounding behavioral effects from neuter and spay surgical procedures in both dogs and cats. An equal discussion of pros and cons will be presented, leaving the audience to form their own opinions based on scientific evidence.
In cats, excessive sucking and chewing of non-food items, self-directed aggression such as tail chasing, tongue or foot chewing, overgrooming or barbering of hair, and scratching to self-harm may be manifestations of compulsive disorders. Spend this hour delving into a world where behavior controls the organism and treatment comes from a medical focus but requires environmental management, behavior therapy, and medications. A team approach is focused upon where DACVB veterinarians, RVT-VTS behavior technicians, and certified trainers work together for the good of the cat.
This lecture offers a thorough exploration of kitten socialization, addressing common misconceptions and providing actionable strategies for fostering lifelong learning behaviors. Attendees will gain insights into effective socialization techniques through practical examples applicable in diverse environments such as foster homes, shelters, and veterinary settings. By arming participants with both practical strategies and an understanding of kitten development, this lecture aims to empower individuals to create optimal socialization experiences for kittens, ultimately contributing to their long-term health and well-being.
This lecture explores the power of collaboration in human-cat interactions, emphasizing the role of critical thinking in nurturing cooperation from the outset. Attendees will discover how to decipher subtle feline body language cues indicative of readiness for collaborative engagement, particularly focusing on “start button” behaviors. Through compelling case studies and practical demonstrations, participants will gain actionable insights into fostering collaboration in everyday scenarios such as nail trimming, medication administration, and veterinary visits, ultimately strengthening the bond between humans and cats.
Tabitha Kucera is an Elite Fear Free and Low Stress Handling Certified Registered Veterinary Technician, Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in Behavior, CCBC, and KPA CTP. She owns her own business in Cleveland, Ohio. Tabitha’s teaching credentials include lecturing on the regional and national level and lecturing at multiple veterinary technology programs. Her lectures cover relevant topics such as canine and feline body language, cooperative care, Fear Free and low stress handling, feline and canine aggression, prevention and management for common behavior concerns, and many others.
She is a Fear Free certified speaker, a Fear Free Practice Certification Consultant, and host of a podcast. Tabitha has helped to develop training and behavior programs including Fear Free implementation for various veterinary hospitals and shelters and works as a consultant for many shelters and private veterinary practices.
Adrienne Hovey is a freelance writer dedicated to helping pet professionals put their best foot forward when it comes to the written word. She has an undergraduate degree in biology from Mount Holyoke College, and spent five years as a veterinary radiology and nuclear medicine technician at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. In 2008, she attended a four-month canine training and behavior program in Texas and then returned home to start her own training business. However, she quickly realized that writing and editing for dog trainers was her true calling. She served as managing editor, and then editor-in-chief, of the APDT Chronicle of the Dog from 2010 to 2015. She has been content editor of the IAABC Journal since 2015.
Adrienne shares her home in rural Upstate New York with a beautiful, naughty pit/hound mix named Penny, who is very lucky to have found a home with an overly permissive former dog trainer. When she isn’t working or walking a dog, Adrienne enjoys crossword puzzles, sudoku, and conversations that start with “Let me tell you about this amazing story I heard on a podcast last week…”
Dr. Calder has lived and practiced veterinary medicine in both New Jersey and Maine for many years. In addition to general practice, she spent time as part of the behavior service at San Francisco SPCA and in Community Practice as part of several veterinary school teaching hospitals. As a general practitioner, Dr. Calder always had an interest in animal behavior and in 2016, she finished a residency with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists becoming a Diplomate with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (DACVB) in 2017. In addition to her own behavior referral practice, Dr. Calder is the Chief Behavior Officer for an online educational platform and a Vet at VIN Consultant. She has a special interest in education and the preparation for veterinary students to help them be “Day One” ready for practice.
Michelle Mullins is the owner and director of training of her business in Richmond, Virginia, USA. As an IAABC Certified Dog Behavior Consultant she offers private in-home pet training with a focus on evidence-based training and behavior modification for dogs with fear, aggression, and reactivity, basic training for puppies, and Fear-Free training of pets for veterinary and grooming procedures. In her work, she collaborates closely with veterinary professionals to ensure her clients have a complete pet care team.
Michelle has guest lectured at Ohio State University and the University of Tennessee and presents at a variety of training and veterinary conferences. She has served on the board of directors for the IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants) and is the current board president of the IAABC Foundation as well as a mentor for IAABC Foundation courses. She is a content contributor to the Fear Free Animal Trainer Course, and both a Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer and Elite Certified.
All of Michelle’s work has the goal of developing long, enriching relationships between pets and their people. She is passionate about sharing continuing education in her field as it ultimately provides our clients, both human and canine, the highest quality services available.
Drop-in at your leisure to network with speakers, colleagues, and old friends round-table style!
This opportunity is available Wednesday (6:45-8:00 am), Thursday (7:00-8:15 am) and Friday (7:00-8:15 am).
– Fresh Fruit and Berries
– White and Wheat Breads
– Butter and Preserves
– Freshly Brewed Coffee and Decaffeinated Coffee
– Herbal Teas
– Assorted Juices
The following additional items will be included as follows:
– Hashbrown Casserole
– Grilled Virginia Ham
– Scrambled Eggs (Herbs, Cheddar Cheese, Tomatoes)
– Goat Cheese Egg White Frittata (Asparagus, Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, Spinach)
– Turkey Sausage
– Crispy Red Skin Breakfast Potatoes
– Local Milled Grits
– Cheddar Cheese
– Crisp Applewood Smoked Bacon
– Scrambled Eggs
Dr. Learn attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she completed an internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in NJ. She remained in general practice for 20 years before she began her residency in Clinical Behavioral Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Radosta in South Florida, and Dr. Amy Pike in NoVA. She completed her residency training and was certified as one of only 90 board certified behavior specialists in the world by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. She is currently the Chief of Clinical Behavioral Medicine at the Animal Behavior Wellness Center in Richmond VA.
Dr. Learn has contributed to several veterinary behavior textbooks, journal articles, blogs and received the prestigious RK Anderson Resident Achievement Award for outstanding research in the field of applied animal behavior.
How do we determine who needs drugs and how they can help?
Join Dr. Amy Learn for an overview of how neurochemicals dictate behavior and how stress affects learning so that we can understand what medications do and how medications can help your training plan by allowing the learners to learn. We will also cover what role behavior consultants have in the medication plan.
In this lecture, we will discuss the 7 most common presenting concerns in cat behavior, why they occur, and what to consider for your treatment plan.
Chrissy Joy is a Professional Studio Canine Trainer, TV Host, Performer, and Influencer. Her passion focuses on TV/film training, trick training, and sharing the importance of mental health for pet parents and trainers.
In this presentation, Shawna Karrasch and Jessie Hillegas will address management, handling, and the importance of slow, later weaning. Foal and mother are often abruptly separated in a traumatic event, and the distress mother and baby experience is dismissed. Jessie will share her experience from years of work as a breeder, and Shawna will explain how to raise foals with R+.
Kiki Yablon is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member, and a co-instructor for Susan Friedman’s BehaviorWorks, and holds a master’s degree in applied behavioral science from the University of Kansas, where her thesis research involved dogs who barked at their caregivers while they were on Zoom.
Kiki came to dog training in 2005 as a novice dog guardian with an undersocialized adolescent shelter pup, Pigeon. She had the good fortune to live next door to a marine mammal trainer at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, who turned her on to clicker training, which in turn led her to her first mentor, Laura Monaco Torelli. After graduating from KPA, she worked for Laura for eight years before leaving amicably to focus on her own private in-home training and consulting business, Kiki Yablon Dog Training. Some of Kiki’s particular training interests include loose leash walking, excessive barking, proactive puppy raising, “weird” problem behaviors, and teaching and problem solving solutions that involve arranging the environment to do most of the work.
In her previous career, Kiki was an editor for magazines and newspapers, and currently puts those skills to use writing about the application of behavior science to dog training on her well trafficked blog.
Learn about the world of dogs in the world of entertainment with a focus on TV/film. Presenter Chrissy Joy will go through the process of training, attaining work, production, and the protection of animals on set.
Inter-cat aggression is the most common problem among owners with multi-cat households, which can also lead to devastating consequences such as injuries and or relinquishment. Research in the shelter environment confirms that inter-cat aggression is one of the most common reasons cats are relinquished to shelters. Fifty percent of the time a new cat is introduced into a household, fighting will occur. Many cat owners are familiar with a gradual familiarization process; however, often, these procedures don’t lead to a successful integration.
In this presentation, I discuss clicker training as a valuable tool for facilitating positive interactions between unfamiliar cats. I will highlight two case studies where I installed training skills to help the client succeed at integrating their cats.
Imagine if your workday consisted of your two favorite games . . . all day, every day. For the most part, police K9s get to play hide-and-seek and tug-of-war every day. Of course, there’s more to it than that but astute K9 handlers and trainers harness their dogs’ innate desire to hunt and tug as the backbone of their training regimen. In this, we will examine how and why modern K9 training dances back and forth between food and play as reinforcers, even when the work is serious.
As behavior consultants, we need to understand the science behind learning and behavior, but our toolbox should also include critical evaluation skills and an understanding of the ethical entanglements that are a part of our relationships with other animals. While the topic of animal ethics and field of critical animal studies may feel daunting and large, their application to companion animals in our lives are increasingly being considered as a part of the methods and practices we choose to use, how those approaches can increase an animal’s wellbeing, and how they can create a more egalitarian relationship across species boundaries.
This presentation will discuss how understanding the influence of language, ideals, and social constructions of dogs and their behavior can help us approach dogs with a more open and nuanced perspective. It reminds us to consider the individuality of dogs and to avoid biased assumptions based on societal constructs. The role these influences have on the way our clients, and we, relate to our dogs is an important key to unlocking a deeper understanding of the dog-human relationship.
There are nearly as many reasons for dogs to bark as there are reasons for people to talk. Unfortunately, humans rarely speak dog.
Updating and re-iterating her popular talk from last year’s conference, Kiki will illuminate how we can draw on the science of behavior to assess why a dog may be barking and design individualized training plans to help them behave more successfully and live with their humans more peacefully. The cases discussed may provide ideas for tricky barking cases, but the principles discussed will be applicable across many different behavior issues.
Dogs who show aggression (or other types of “difficult to handle” behavior) in the veterinary clinic present a significant challenge for both dog owners and veterinary staff. Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to help things go smoother for dogs with a history of difficult vet visits!
In this presentation, we’ll discuss a wide range of different strategies that can be used to make veterinary visits kinder and safer for “problem dogs” – including logistical considerations for getting in and out of the clinic with minimal stress, choosing what behaviors might be most helpful for training, and the role of both oral pre-visit meds and injectable sedatives in facilitating safe, low-stress handling for dogs who struggle with veterinary care.
Several case examples with also be included, to provide real-world context for a range of different possible handling strategies.
Certified as an Equine Behavior Consultant (CEBC) by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Trudi is also a member of their Application Review Committee. As an Accredited Animal Behaviourist (AAB) with the ABTC, she offers in-person and online behaviour consultations in addition to teaching her unique blend of classical dressage and positive reinforcement. Specialising in clicker training and changing behaviour through low-stress learning environments, Trudi hosts training clinics, workshops, talks, lectures, webinars, and courses. Trudi also shares her knowledge through a podcast, magazine contributions, and the IAABC Foundation Journal.
Lindsay Palmer holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is a social and behavioral scientist, and is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences at UMass Chan Medical School. Dr. Palmer is interested in how humans form and maintain relationships with other animals and currently has a line of research in human-animal interactions.
In her role at the Foundation, Lindsay primarily serves as a volunteer consultant for goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Inappropriate elimination is one of the most common (and frequently frustrating!) behavior problems that prompt cat owners to seek help from a professional. While there are a number of different underlying factors that can contribute to urination outside the litter box, this presentation will focus on one particular disorder that really needs a team approach involving both veterinarians and behavior consultants for the best chance of long-term resolution.
Cats who struggle with idiopathic cystitis often have recurring bouts of straining, painful urination, and bloody urine – which would seem to put this disorder squarely in the “medical problem” category. However… as with so many things in the world of behavior, it’s not that clear cut! Clinical research into this issue since the early 2000s indicates that FIC kitties often have measurable abnormalities in their sympathetic nervous system and HPA axis, and that stress plays a major role in causing flare-ups.
In this talk, we’ll discuss what we know about the pathogenesis of FIC, red flags that should prompt a vet visit for cats with inappropriate urination, and the importance of a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses both the medical *and* behavioral aspects of this problem.
Hanah Bennett is a former marine mammal trainer of the National Aquarium as well as Dolphin Quest Bermuda. She is an active member of IMATA and the current Executive Assistant and Satellite Trainer for Pets for Vets.
PsyMed” is a movement by progressive veterinarians to include pet behavioral health services in their wellness program for every patient. This approach depends on behaviorists identifying and treating behavioral biomarkers of pet stress that are likely to eventually result in medical symptoms. Learn how to assist local veterinarians with these cases.
Rolan Tripp is an internationally certified veterinary behavior consultant for both canines and felines. He also holds academic degrees in music and philosophy. Rolan was the featured speaker in Tokyo, Japan and lectured at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. He has published more than 40 articles and taught behavior medicine at 7 U.S. veterinary schools. A content expert for the Animal Planet Network, he has appeared in over 20 programs.
Dr. Tripp served on the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service for 6 years representing all U.S. small animal veterinarians. As founder of a group focused on the future of Veterinary Medicine, he writes extensively on the future of the profession. He invented a trademarked artificial intelligence engine that progressive veterinarians use to screen every dog and cat patient for behavioral wellness. Rolan advocates for a team approach where the attending DVM may outsource behavioral therapy to a trainer behaviorist and a veterinary behavior teleconsultant who work together under the indirect supervision of the attending DVM who retains the veterinary client patient relationship and overall responsibility for the case.
This presentation will address starting the young/green horse under saddle while focused on positive reinforcement (R+) based tools and thinking outside of the traditional training box. The aim of this demonstration is to help make these tools more easily understood and readily embraced to clear up some common misconceptions regarding utilizing food while under saddle.
Shawna Karrasch is a pioneer in the use of Positive Reinforcement Training with horses. Her powerful and humane behavioral training techniques are often perspective changing for many equine professionals, competitors, and amateurs alike. She worked as a marine mammal trainer, has produced books, has been a guest speaker at several universities, and traveled worldwide to teach the concepts of the behavioral science. Most importantly, Shawna has been instrumental in bridging the gap between the science and practical application of positive reinforcement.
Jessie Hillegas grew up riding traditionally and continued through adulthood learning from some of the top hunter and jumper trainers in the industry. She worked for show hunter/jumper barns where she trained young horses from the ground up, coaching the Susquehanna and Bucknell Equestrian Teams, teaching lesson programs, and riding/preparing the made show horses for competition. After 20+ years, Jessie started her own Warmblood breeding/training business out of her Pennsylvania home.
Shawna and Jessie now have a business together, which has been formed from two unique but complimentary backgrounds.
Behavioral work can often be isolating, both for professionals and their clients. In this presentation, attendees will delve into strategies aimed at cultivating inclusive and supportive communities within the field of animal behavior.
Drawing upon the principles of Disability Justice, the session will explore pivotal concepts such as intersectionality and the leadership of those most affected. Through this lens, participants will gain insights into creating spaces that enrich the lives of all involved.
By the end of the presentation, attendees will be equipped with practical tools and strategies essential for building vibrant communities that prioritize collective well-being. Join us as we embark on a journey to foster inclusivity and support within the realm of animal behavior, enhancing both professional development and the lives of those we serve.
All lunch buffets include Iced Tea (Sweet or Unsweet) and Water.
Wednesday: THE OLD SMOKEHOUSE
– Tossed Green Salad, Tomato, Shaved Red Onions, Cucumber with Two Dressings
– Southern Potato Salad
– Collard Greens
– Southern Baked Beans
– Western North Carolina BBQ Pork
– Honey BBQ Roasted Bone-in Chicken
– Cornbread Muffins
– Pecan Pie
Thursday: UPTOWN ASHEVILLE
– Iceberg Lettuce, Bacon, Tomato, Cucumber, Red Onion, Blue Cheese & Vinaigrette Dressing
– Roasted Seasonal Vegetable Display
– Petite Grilled Sirloin Steak, Caramelized Onion Wild Mushroom Reduction
– Lusty Monk Mustard Glazed Chicken Breast
– Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes
– Rolls & Butter
– Cheesecake with Berries
Friday: THE MILANO
– Traditional Caesar Salad with Parmesan Cheese, Garlic Croutons, Caesar Dressing
– Cannellini Bean Salad
– Chicken Piccata
– Baked Pasta with Bolognese
– Peso Orzo
– Green Beans with Garlic & Olive Oil
– Garlic Bread
This presentation delves into the world of dolphin training to uncover valuable lessons for dog trainers. Drawing parallels between dogs and dolphins, we explore the significance of relationship building, enrichment reinforcers, and reciprocal play. Discover how these marine mammal principles can be applied to canines to elevate your approach to training.
“Stimulus-stimulus pairing” is often used interchangeably with “classical conditioning.” But the first term simply describes what the trainer does, while the other implies an intended effect of the procedure. Leaving aside the trainer’s intentions and looking with clear eyes at what actually happens when we arrange for one stimulus to predict another can open the door to some effective and creative teaching and problem-solving approaches.
In this presentation, Kiki will review some behavioral literature and share some experiences to provoke deeper thought about how what happens before, after, or smack dab in the middle of the pairing —in the “gap” between stimuli— can make pairing procedures more effective and lead to client-friendly shortcuts for teaching operant behavior.
In this presentation, Dr. Lindsay Palmer will define human-animal interaction research and provide audience members with important definitions to digest scientific research (e.g., What does statistical significance mean? What is variance?) Importantly, this will lead to a discussion of different models of group-level behavior change for people (e.g., COM-B model). With these theories, we will discuss developing group-level interventions for human behavior, its applicability to animal welfare, and understanding barriers and facilitators to behavior change for people.
– Define Human-Animal Interactions research and basic research methods
– Understand theories about changing human behavior at a group level to improve the welfare of animals
– Identify basic principles of group-level intervention work
In this presentation, Dr. Lindsay Palmer will discuss foundational psychological theories related to the social cognition and behavior of people that can have downstream consequences for diversity (e.g., stereotyping). Following a discussion to deepen our understanding of our own species-specific behavior, she will guide participants through theories that help us broaden our perspectives to understand the social positions of other people. While theories of intersectionality have become a mainstay of popular discourse, Lindsay will introduce advanced topics, such as intersectional invisibility, that have received relatively less attention. Finally, she will discuss strategies to develop interventions and initiatives related to diversity and important caveats to consider when implementing these initiatives.
This presentation will be useful for members who would like to consider DEI within their own organizations and are interested in creating their own initiatives.
Aggressive, fearful, anxious, over-aroused, reactive… too many dogs fit one or more of those descriptions these days. These dogs often exhibit what Irith Bloom refers to as “over-the-top” behavior. Dogs (and other animals) with over-the-top behavior seem to have trouble dealing with the highs and lows of life. They can even have difficulty with day-to-day activities. To these animals, just about everything is a Really Big Deal.
In this presentation, Irith will go over common examples of over-the-top behavior. She will address why over-the top behavior happens and how to explain that to clients. She will also provide a “tool kit” of practical, effective techniques behavior consultants can use to address this type of behavior and improve life for both non-human animals and the humans who live with them.
Whether you are a behavior consultant who already handles cases involving over-the-top behavior or you are considering taking on this type of client, this presentation is for you.
After this presentation, you will be able to:
– Describe over-the-top behavior and why it happens.
– Apply training techniques to help reduce over-the-top behavior.
– Determine which tools are right for a particular situation.
Have you been thinking about working with cats, but hesitant to take the plunge? When your client with a dog (or parrot or horse or other pet) asks you about their cats, are you afraid to answer? Maybe you have helped people with cats here and there, but don’t feel comfortable advertising cat consulting as one of your skills. Irith Bloom has news for you: Even a non-cat behavior consultant has many of the skills needed to help with cat behavior, since behavior principles apply across species.
In this session, Irith will help cat novices (and even behavior consultants with cat experience) get more comfortable with cat cases. She’ll talk about cat body language, normal cat behavior (including behavior humans may not love), and warning signs that something is awry. She’ll also discuss a few common cat behavior issues – including one that is often overlooked – and how to address them. This session will be interactive, so come prepared to participate!
After this presentation, you will be able to:
– Describe cat behavior in client-friendly terms.
– Implement behavior modification plans for cats.
– Encourage household participation in training.
Irith Bloom helps people develop choice-rich environments and teach their companion animals with kindness. She has been training since the 1980s and has worked with everything from chickens and rabbits to dogs and horses—not to mention humans. She is a sought-after presenter, and her writing has been published in countless online outlets as well as in print media including a recent book.
Irith is co-founder of a project that helps pet professionals build the business of their dreams. Her training company provides peer-to-peer and trainer-to-public services worldwide.
Irith has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is Faculty at Victoria Stilwell Academy, Chair Emeritus of the APDT Education Committee, and on both the CCPDT Board and the Advisory Board for Pets for Vets. She also volunteers for National English Shepherd Rescue.
Irith lives in Los Angeles. She is between companion animals, but shares her home with a well-behaved spouse.
Gabriel Lencioni graduated as a Veterinarian and is now pursuing his Ph.D. in the field of animal behavior and welfare at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. His research primarily explores the application of artificial intelligence to identify pertinent indicators associated with affective states in horses.
Gabriel is a Certified Equine Behavior Consultant (CEBC) with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and a Fear Free Elite Professional for dogs, cats, and horses.
His professional journey spans veterinary behavior consulting, educating, and training, reflecting his commitment to advancing animal well-being.
Malena DeMartini is a Certified Trainer and Counselor (CTC) and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) – She is renowned in the dog training world for her work on canine separation anxiety spanning more than two decades. Her books have helped countless numbers of dogs (and the people who love them). Her online course for guardians has proven to be an invaluable resource in the industry, and the success rate realized there is immeasurable. In addition to writing and lecturing for a worldwide audience, Malena oversees a team of top separation anxiety trainers and runs an internationally accessible certification program for accomplished dog professionals looking to hone their skills. Malena is passionate about furthering education in this field through science-based methods.
We know the tireless work that shelter/rescue staff and volunteers devote to the dogs (and all animals) in their care. We also know that providing for dogs with separation anxiety in the shelter/rescue system has been a challenge for quite some time. In this presentation, we will delve into some new shelter/rescue resources for supporting dogs struggling with this behavior issue and discuss best practices for successfully adopting out a dog with separation anxiety.
We have listened to and learned from so many shelters and rescues about the challenges they face caring for dogs with this issue, including launching a survey in 2023 to gather as much data as possible about these challenges and how to better support them in responding to them. This session will include some interactive discussion, and participants will leave with ideas and resources to take back and implement in their local contexts.
Ever wondered how to more efficiently and effectively work with your clients (and their dogs)? Some of the skills we rely most heavily on when working a separation anxiety case can do just that! In this presentation, we will dive deeply into three key transferable skills from our 20+ years of separation anxiety work with dogs that are applicable to all manner of behavior cases: regular support for the client, carefully tracking data, and creating a cohesive team to help the dog.
While this presentation will use separation-related examples, it is for any animal professional who wants to up their game with their clients. Participants will walk away with ideas on how to refine and deepen their behavior consulting skills to make optimally informed decisions that best support clients.
Melissa Deal is a Recognized Connection Coach and a USDF Bronze Medalist in Dressage. She has also been American Riding Instructor Association Certified since 1999 in Dressage, Hunt Seat, and Western.
Melissa is often called “The Trainer’s Trainer” because she successfully coaches recreational horse owners and professionals alike. But her greatest accomplishment in the horse world is creating positive change and transforming the lives of horses and the people who love them. Melissa helps equestrians create the relationships and results they want with the horses they love. Her way of kindly and dynamically transferring her knowledge of positive reinforcement (R+) horse training and relationship building methods is proven by hundreds of happy horses and humans around the world. Melissa is the founder of an online community with the mission of helping equestrians understand and enjoy their horses like never before!
Jennifer Summerfield is a veterinarian and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), with a focus on treating behavior problems including aggression to humans or other animals, separation anxiety, and compulsive behavior disorders. She is proud to be a member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Jennifer is a passionate advocate for positive, science-based methods of training and behavior modification, and loves helping pet owners learn to communicate more clearly with their dogs.
Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys competing in a variety of sports with her three Shelties, including AKC agility, obedience, rally, and conformation. She has been a regular webinar presenter and guest instructor, a guest lecturer on clinical animal behavior topics for veterinary technician students at her local community college, and also writes a blog on behavior and training issues for dog owners.
Join Gabrielle Johnson as they delve into the nuanced realm of intrahousehold aggression. This presentation includes real case studies, including video, for cases conducted entirely virtually and for cases conducted with a hybrid of in-person and virtual meetings.
We will emphasize the necessity of discerning and addressing individual needs, particularly when the animals in question have their own unique and complex needs. This presentation underscores the pivotal role this understanding plays in cultivating optimal relationships and well-being for every member of the household.
By examining the layers inherent in intrahousehold aggression, attendees will gain insights into the intricacies of tailoring approaches to accommodate the distinctive requisites of each animal as we focus on resilience, self-regulation, social skills, independence, physiological regulation, and more. Using an intersectional framework that centers the leadership on the most impacted, we can do more than improve behavior. We can devise our training plans to meet the needs of and improve well-being for everyone involved.
Gabrielle Johnson is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology. They specialize in aggressive behavior and nervous system dysregulation, including hyperarousal, trauma, chronic stress, and anxiety disorders. They particularly enjoy bringing the framework of Disability Justice to their work to include the principles of centering the most impacted and intersectionality. They are an Autistic and ADHD DID system and particularly enjoy working with other disabled clients.
Gabrielle lives in Richmond, VA, with their four dogs but works with clients all over the world.
Inter-cat aggression is the most common problem among owners with multi-cat households, which can also lead to devastating consequences such as injuries and or relinquishment. Research in the shelter environment confirms that inter-cat aggression is one of the most common reasons cats are relinquished to shelters. Fifty percent of the time a new cat is introduced into a household, fighting will occur. Many cat owners are familiar with a gradual familiarization process; however, other procedures may be necessary to establish safe interactions.
Leash-walking a cat presents a unique opportunity to observe the interactions of unfamiliar cats outdoors in a more natural setting. When unfamiliar cats meet, they present specific behavioral repertoires that are valuable in establishing relationships and minimizing conflicts. These cat-cat “meetings” provide insight into how familiarity develops between cats and which behavioural variables best reflect their developing relationship. This presentation will share videos of cat-cat interactions, from their first greetings to when their relationship is more established. Insights from this fieldwork-style approach can guide practitioners in helping clients build familiarity and tolerance between unfamiliar cats more quickly and safely.
Julie Posluns is an Associate Certified Applied Animal behaviorist (ACAAB). She started her career in the pet industry as a dog walker, where she gained hours of “fieldwork,” observing dogs interacting with one another and using positive-reinforcement-based training to make walks safer and more enjoyable. Her interest in dog-dog interactions prompted her to return to school to pursue her MSc in Cognitive and Behavioral Ecology and focus her research on unfamiliar dog interactions. After finding a stray kitten outside, Julie became interested in clicker training cats and cat-cat introductions. She is the founder of an online clicker training school for cats where she helps cat guardians teach their cats fun and practical skills to enrich their lives and strengthen the cat-human bond.
Shawna Karrasch started using positive reinforcement (R+) when she worked at SeaWorld in San Diego. For ten years she was immersed in using R+ in a systematic way, teaching complex behaviors to many species. You cannot, after all, coerce a whale or sea lion to do anything they don’t want to do! From there, she developed a love of horses and jumped into that world by working first with show jumping phenoms, John and Beezie Madden. Since then, Shawna has worked with other Olympians and top athletes as well as casual horse owners whose primary goal is having a loving companion.
Shawna has been instrumental in sharing applied learning theory with the horse world and was an original pioneer. R+ has taken off from the work she began back in the 90’s and this method of training has grown a hundred fold thanks to what she started. She is a fun and highly engaging speaker with a gift for clearly explaining the science and theory. Not too many of us came to horses learning any other way except traditionally. Shawna’s marine mammal background gives her a completely unique perspective on teaching both people and animals. Her expertise in the field of equine behavior is second to none.
Horses AND humans need to feel mentally, physically and emotionally safe (experience a state of positive affect) for optimal focus and therefore learning and enjoyment to occur. They must also experience a degree of “success” in their sessions if they are to continue to evolve in their positive reinforcement (R+) journey when faced with primarily conventional equestrian environments or R+ is likely to be abandoned. This presentation will address how we can achieve safety AND enjoyment simultaneously by training for circumstances that tend to produce the greatest challenges to creating these desired outcomes.
This presentation will demonstrate a variety of methods for providing reinforcers that help humans stay safe and produce a positive affect in horses (including reduction of frustration and stress) keeping them in an optimal learning state.
This practical demonstration will dive into techniques that use cooperative care with horses through a creative and naturally flowing way, being able to address real-life challenges and promoting collaboration with horses even in emergencies.
Erin Jones is a dog behaviour consultant and researcher with a focus on the dog-human connection and animal ethics through a critical animal studies lens. She has a PhD in Human Animal Studies from the University of Canterbury, an MSc in Anthrozoology from Canisius University, a BSc (Hons.) in Psychology and a PGDip. in Animal Welfare.
Erin is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CCPDT-KA) with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and an Accredited Dog Trainer and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) with the IAABC.
She runs her own business in Christchurch, New Zealand where she lives with her dog, Juno, and husband, Mike.
In 2021, Sergeant Steve White finished his 46-year law enforcement career as training supervisor for the Seattle Police Canine Unit. Accredited as a Master Trainer by the Washington State Police Canine Association, he also served as Vice President of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and is a consultant and instructor for the K9 Academy for Law Enforcement.
Having instructed training seminars on every continent except Antarctica, Steve currently serves on the United States Police Canine Association’s Best Practices Working Group and on the Victoria Stillwell Academy advisory Board. His articles have appeared in publications in the United States and other countries.
Steve specializes in teaching behavior modification, K9 tactics, tracking, and scent work through the use of positive reinforcement-based operant conditioning. He provides consultation and training to K9 units on training, administrative, and legal issues. He has been recognized as an expert witness by Washington and Federal courts in Police K9 and dog behavior matters.
In this session, we will examine and discuss some of the ethical conundra inherent in the modern use of police patrol dogs: Is force necessary in their training? Can dogs consent to face the job’s inherent risks? How do we break through the fog of battle to get dogs to respond to cues? Is it ever ethical to use what many would consider a training tool of force for another purpose and what are the risks in doing so? What is the state of police dog training around the world?
This demonstration is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about advanced learning principles and how to apply them in order to improve precision and success in equine training.
The goals of this presentation are to introduce stimulus control and to demonstrate errorless discrimination to help improve training outcomes.
Key topics that will be covered include: discriminative stimulus cues; stimulus and response prompts; fading; stimulus generalization; and adjusting reinforcement schedules.
Food is a valuable resource and animals may become aggressive in order to gain access to it. Horses that are aggressive around food pose a risk of injury to both humans and other horses. The most common underlying causes of equine food-related aggression include feeding practices and training techniques. Consequently, resolving food aggression sits squarely in the domain of the equine behaviorist. This talk will begin with an overview of causes, physiology, and behavior of food-related aggression and present clinical and legal case examples, with a focus on behavior management and modification strategies for reducing equine food aggression.
In this presentation, Trudi will demonstrate how to break down behaviours and train them using a distant reinforcement routine. This is something that she is currently working on to bring ‘clicker’ training (positive reinforcement, but without a click) to more mainstream equestrians. Trudi’s ‘behaviour builder’ system uses simple back chaining/sequencing patterns that are easily adapted for groundwork and ridden work and help motivate horse and handler avoiding unnecessary pressure to create behaviours.
Back chaining (or sequencing) from a reinforcement routine creates patterns that systematically reduce reinforcement in addition to lowering stress for food-sensitive learners. In this presentation, Trudi will consider why positive reinforcement (R+) based training remains on the fringes of mainstream equestrianism and how using R+ ‘by stealth’ is one way to break down traditional barriers and introduce R+ based training to a wider audience using behaviour patterns and sequences.
Join us for an exploration of AI-driven innovations and possible uses in deciphering animal behaviour, collecting valuable data, and optimizing achievement tracking. Gabriel will delve into recent academic advancements, what we could be using in our practice already, and what we could expect for the future.
Tom Candy is a Senior Training and Behaviour Advisor for a shelter in the United Kingdom. Tom is responsible for overseeing the training and behaviour at multiple rehoming centres across the UK. His duties include assessment, management and behaviour modification.
A passion for animal welfare and training led Tom to undertake a BSc (Hons) in bio-veterinary science, and an MSc in clinical animal behaviour from the University of Lincoln, UK.
Having started volunteering in rescue at the age of 15, Tom has been involved in a variety of aspects of rescue, including fundraising, home checks, transporting, and general day-to-day activities. Since graduating from University, Tom has been working as a training and behaviour advisor, locuming across 7 centres before moving to the senior training and behaviour team.
Tom is a certified clinical animal behaviourist with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council, and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Certified Shelter Behaviour Specialist.
Beyond a plethora of oddball skills and experiences, Philip joins the IAABC Foundation as a certified dog trainer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but can also frequently be found in the shelters of Taiwan. Having grown up in Taipei, Philip is focused on further improving animal welfare programs among municipal shelters and private rescues. Stateside, Philip works with local and international rescues, hoping for the day when dogs no longer need to fly halfway across the globe to find a home.
A lifelong learner, Philip’s area of emphasis revolves around alleviating fear for his own Taiwanese mix, Alisa. Philip strives to further his mechanical skill and theoretical knowledge, with eyes set on becoming a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) with the IAABC. Besides animals, Philip is a reluctant activist, as well as a bonafide gearhead and music lover.
Yuching is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and service dog coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys learning everything about the behaviors of canines and humans. After adopting a fearful dog who was scared of everything and would bite if pushed over his limit, Yuching began her learning journey on dog behavior while exploring all kinds of canine training with her dog. Her dog, Bailey, showed Yuching that learning should be fun in order to help the stressed brain. Through fun exercises such as tricks and nosework, Bailey’s confidence was built and the relationship between them was improved and strengthened. This led to Yuching starting her dog training business K9 Learning to share her learning and help pet owners with fearful dogs to find fun in training.
Prior to being a dog trainer, Yuching worked in the corporate world with a specialty of English-Mandarin translation. This leads to her using her translation skills to translate IAABC Foundation journals into Mandarin Chinese to reach a wider readership.
IAABC Foundation Journal Spanish Editor, Head of Translators, and IAABC Language Director. Masters in Canine Clinical Psychology and Education, Vet assistant, first aid certified and pet groomer. She is also a journalist, professional translator and proofreader, as well as Editor in chief of El Telégrafo newspaper, Uruguay. She’s been invited by the Uruguayan government to take part in the national shelter program as a dog behavior consultant, with whom she is taking action on animal welfare.
Living in a country where science-based dog training was not common, many years ago she began her research in order to set herself up for success in the field. Thus, she has taken courses at Karen Pryor Academy (KPA), Dunbar Academy, Pet Partners (Delta Society), Victoria Stilwell Academy (VSA) and specialized in children-directed education regarding animal care and behavior. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and Doggone Safe.
She has worked with guide dogs from New York, supporting organizations for the blind in her country.
Passionate about dogs, she devotes most of her time to ensure their wellness in society, offering a helping hand as a volunteer in rescue organizations and writing articles about animal welfare and behavior in the newspaper at which she works. Her human and non-human children take up most of her heart.
Melinda is experienced in business analysis, quality assurance and project management and worked with various state and local agencies implementing Information Systems for over 20 years. She is the Communications Director with IAABC, the Director of Volunteer and Foster Engagement with an animal welfare non-profit and is also a Humane Policy volunteer. Melinda runs a small business part-time offering fine stationery for special events in which she offers calligraphy, letterpress and graphic design services. She is a Supporting Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Melinda currently resides on Long Island with her partner David and their two beloved dogs Shea and Citi. You will usually find a third dog, a foster, in their home.
Dae Grodin is the owner and trainer at her professional dog training business, servicing the Northern KY and Cincinnati areas since 2011. She offers private training, behavior consults, group classes, 4H Dog Club classes, and board and trains. Dae has a BA in psychology from the University of Kentucky, is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), and FitPAWS Master Trainer (FP-MT). She also belongs to various dog training organizations, including IAABC and APDT. She was awarded the APDT Member of the year in 2015.
Currently, Dae is the Social Media Specialist for the IAABC Foundation’s social media accounts.
Dae lives with 4 dogs—a Husky/German Shepherd Dog mix, a Parson Russell Terrier, a Border Terrier, a Danish Swedish Farmdog, a house bunny, and a foster Pitbull. Dae’s dogs actively work in search and rescue, therapy dog and crisis response work, nose work, barn hunt, agility, fast cat/lure coursing, dock diving, and trick training. When she is not working with dogs, she enjoys hiking and photography.
Erin is a CPDT-KA, ADT-IAABC, CDBC, is an Accredited Dog Behaviour Consultant with Companion Animals New Zealand and has a MSc in Anthrozoology. She holds a PhD in Animal Studies from the University of Canterbury with a primary research focus on the human-dog connection, behaviour of companion dogs, and society. Erin runs an educational/research-based organization also offering behaviour consultations for dogs and their humans, specializing in fearful and anxious dogs. Erin currently lives in Christchurch New Zealand with her husband Mike and dog Juno.
All of Michelle’s work has the goal of developing long, enriching relationships between pets and their people. She is passionate about sharing continuing education in her field as it ultimately provides our clients, both human and canine, the highest quality services available.
Sylvia Currie brings together subject matter experts and education team members to develop and implement online courses, webinars, and yet-to-be imagined educational programs. She has been designing and facilitating online learning and supporting others to do the same since the early days of web browsers.
Camille Asmer is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and Accredited Dog Trainer (ADT) with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CBCC) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). Camille started her dog training career volunteering and then working for a non-profit that breeds, raises, and trains English Labradors to become service dogs for veterans and disabled persons. Very soon after becoming a full time trainer, fascinated with animal behavior, Camille continued to train and study until she became certified in behavior too.
Camille’s favorite thing about her job is bringing clients hope and helping them see results, shaping a strong and happy bond between the owner and pet through positive reinforcement based training. She specializes in canine aggression and fear based behaviors, working closely with veterinarians in the Charlotte, NC, area to help clients understand, train, and live happily with their dogs.
Camille is a true dog nerd and loves to study all things dog. She enjoys being a volunteer parrot trainer and being a mentor for other people studying to become trainers. When not working, Camille loves to spend time with her husband, three children, and 2 Labrador Retrievers.
Sami Bradford has had a love for animals since she was old enough to crawl. She believes that all life has value, and all animals deserve the opportunity to experience unconditional love from humans. Her family fondly refers to her as a ‘Tibetan Monk’ (reference to “Seven Years in Tibet”) because she has been known to stop a game of cards to save a moth from landing in a drink. Aside from random moths, Sami shares her home with two Bengals and a Borador. Sami comes to the IAABC foundation with undergrad in business, a graduate certificate in public relation communications management and a master’s degree in communication. She worked in healthcare administration and public safety for 10 years until she found her calling in higher education. Currently, she works full-time in the Haskayne school of business at the University of Calgary and is a part-time instructor of Software and Technologies at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Lindsay Palmer holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is a social and behavioral scientist, and is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences at UMass Chan Medical School. Dr. Palmer is interested in how humans form and maintain relationships with other animals and currently has a line of research in human-animal interactions. In her role at the Foundation, she primarily serves as a volunteer consultant for goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Catja (she/her) is living with a retired older cocker spaniel, who still loves to work, and a younger Australian Koolie, who is starting his first competitions.
Since 2009, when she finished her instructors’ course via Canis academy, Catja has been working full-time teaching on the topic of training, both online and at in-person workshops and conferences.
She has competed in the highest level of working trials, including obedience, tracking, and search and rescue and has also been working with drug detection and rally obedience over the years. But no matter the topic, her focus is on developing the basic skills through clean training sessions and fluency in the trainer’s skills. She is passionate about clean training, fluency, shaping, backchaining and giving the learner choice in training.
Practicing the basics and having great mechanical skills is one of the things that will elevate your training to the next level, in her opinion. She believes that every dog handler can and should work with their dog, and that planning your session to be as clean and efficient as possible will create more reinforcement opportunities for both learner and teacher. Her first focus is to teach 80 different basic skills that makes it possible to teach just about anything “advanced” later. Dividing all training into the smallest behaviors possible, before even thinking of adding the cue and setting the stage for clean training loops, is a high priority.
She uses shaping wherever it is possible, and always tries to have a clean, smooth session, with clear information for the dog while removing all background distractions. Meeting the learner where they are and getting to be a part of the process where the team grows together is the most rewarding thing for her. Catja works with learners on all levels and also believes in continued education, for everyone.
Amy attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation in 2003, she completed an internship in NJ, and then she went into general practice until 2017 at which time, she started a Residency in Clinical Behavioral Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Radosta in South Florida and Dr. Amy Pike in Northern Virginia.
Amy is a board certified veterinary behaviorist and is currently the Chief of Clinical Behavioral Medicine in Richmond VA where she counsels clients from Richmond, Charlottesville, Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, and North Carolina. She has contributed to veterinary textbook chapters, journal articles, blogs and received the RK Anderson Resident Research Award. She has lectured for APDT, Veterinary Behavior Symposium, IAABC, Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, VMX. Her memberships and certifications include: Fear Free elite, Low Stress Handling Silver, Pet Professional Guild, IAABC Foundation Board Member.
San Choi is the founder of a dog training and daycare service located in Los Angeles, California. He is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner.
With 8 years of animal care experience, he specializes in helping families build meaningful relationships between people and the animals they live with. Choi believes living and training animals is rightfully rooted by science, consideration, and empathy. A recent graduated in August 2020, San is inspired and determined to explore the incredible avenues of growth the animal industry has to offer. San is most passionate about learning and connecting with people to create a better tomorrow with animals.
Born in Macau, China, Choi and his family immigrated to the United States in 1995 to seek a better life. Choi and his family lived in the San Gabriel Valley for 25 years. Throughout his early life, there were many social barriers that shaped San’s evolving initiative to organize and collaborate with local modern social justice groups and movements within the greater Los Angeles County. San carries his passion to help others beyond the dog training realm by working with local community leaders to facilitate multi-racial solidarity in public community gatherings with organizations such as Neighborhood Safety Companions, Chinatown Overwatch Patrols, and Asians with Attitudes. When San is not working, he likes to spend his time hiking and training with his dogs Molly and Shadow and expanding his knowledge and skill in animal behavior.
Kierah Moore. My name is Kierah Moore and I have been in the behavior realm for almost 10 years. It all started with a Chicago kid working on a farm for college credit. Upon receiving my Bachelors in Animal Sciences, I eventually made my way to a popular pet supply retail chain, which is where I have spent my last 4 years. This is where I get to train dogs, trainers, and make an impact on pet parents lives every day. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a passion of mine that gives my purpose regularly. It has slowly become my north light over the years. Empowering me to be the change that I want to see.
Linda Randall, DVM began her veterinary career working with companion animals in a practice that was primarily dairy cattle. She then built an animal hospital in Westfield Center, OH, gaining extensive experience as a Board-Certified Specialist in Companion Animals, while also establishing herself as a respected dog trainer. Using the science of positive reinforcement, Linda is committed to understanding how behavior informs access to medical care. She is especially interested in the convergence of human and animal emotional states as they intersect in marginalized communities.
Dr. Randall has been on the Board and is a past president of The Battered Women’s Shelter in Medina, OH, and has served multiple times as an expert witness in animal abuse cases. She is also a past president of the Ohio Veterinary Licensing Board, and has served as the chair and face of Agriculture Day for Leadership Medina County for over 16 years. She is proud of her recent webinar “Kids, Race and Positive Reinforcement”, looking at how, and if, positive training affected the way her young agility students interacted with animals, family and their social circle, and how they perceived the news of the world.
Linda took a broken arrow path to her current career: she was an English Literature major at Earlham College, Richmond,IN, and subsequently taught English at Oakwood, a private Quaker school in Poughkeepsie, New York. Answering an ad in the New York Times led to a 3 year contract teaching English in Bida, Nigeria for the Nigerian Federal Government, which she was forced to leave early due to a coup. Returning home to Connecticut, Linda reconnected with her original passion for veterinary medicine (which she originally did not pursue because her high school guidance counselor told her Black people would not get in to vet school and women should stay home, an she wasn’t good enough in the sciences…) moving to Ohio to attend the University of Cincinnati in biology before being admitted to the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
As the owner of One Smart Dog in Seville, Ohio, she specializes in helping people access their dog’s learning mindset through non-aversive training and instructing. Dr. Randall is widely known for her love of teaching people how to encourage their dog to be a good and joyful citizen of the world, for dancing the Lindy Hop wherever she goes, and her conviction that compassion, generosity, and a gentle sense of humor will always return to the giver tenfold.
She is also determined to learn to play the ukulele.
Darris has worked in the industries of animal training and behavior, pet lifestyle, and broadcast television for nearly 15 years. Working with pets, pet parents and animal lovers everywhere has been a dream come true & an incredible journey. He has trained at zoological facilities, working with both domestic and exotic animals. His passion for all animals and all people has led him on a journey of discovery and impactful experiences that reinforces the animal and human bond.
He’s a strong believer in industry collaboration and partnerships and knows that true innovation comes to life when trainers, veterinarians, grooming professionals, and animal welfare organizations all work together.
As a lifelong learner Darris is also recognized with the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers, and holds the Fear Free Animal Trainer certification, he’s also an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and works with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team with IAABC Foundation.
He volunteers with animal rescue organizations and has worked on the front lines in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Darris also serves as an on-air contributor to local and national television and print publications on pet lifestyle and behavior.
Darris loves spending time with his family and is a pet parent to pups Zakai & Kelea and 3 aquatic turtles. You can also find Darris at many animal rescue fundraisers, wildlife conservation events, and animal related conferences and tradeshows to continue his quest of lifelong learning.
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed
Fear Free Dog Trainer
Family Paws Educator
An evidence-based, Fear Free Certified dog trainer, Ayelet spent nearly a decade volunteering with dog rescue organizations and shelters in Manhattan before creating her first company in Nashville. As of September of 2021 she has merged her business with Julie Farris, CBCC and Beth Strickler, CACVB to open her business in Nashville, where she is a co-owner and Co-Director of Behavior and Training.
Ayelet is a proud graduate of The Karen Pryor Academy and a licensed presenter for Family Paws. She was also a Behavior Technician for Veterinary Behaviorist Beth Strickler, DACVB for 5 years. Some of Ayelet’s favorite work has been teaching group classes at Davidson County Male Correctional Facility, where inmates are paired with rescued Greyhounds to help prepare the dogs for adoption. Finally, Ayelet is a mentor for CATCH and Victoria Stilwell Academy, helping shape the trainers of tomorrow.
Ayelet (pronounced i-yell-it) was born in Israel, raised in Louisville, and lived in New York for a decade before returning to her Southern roots and settling down in Nashville with her husband, sons and “beagle-mix,” Chloe.
Dr. Kristina Spaulding has been in the dog training and behavior profession for over 20 years. She has a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and a PhD in Biopsychology—the study of the biological basis of behavior—and is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. She is particularly interested in stress, neurobiology, cognition, emotion, and well-being and how to apply these concepts to the prevention, early intervention, and treatment of behavior problems in dogs. She is an adjunct professor for Virginia Tech’s graduate program in Animal Behavior and Welfare. In addition, Dr. Spaulding teaches a variety of online courses and webinars on the science of behavior through her website and for the IAABC Foundation. She is the author of The Stress Factor in Dogs: Unlocking Resiliency and Enhancing Well-Being and regularly presents on canine behavior science at conferences and other events.
Dr. Spaulding is a recipient of the Association of Professional Dog Trainer’s (APDT’s) Member of the Year Award for her work on their education committee. In her position as Vice President of the IAABC Foundation Board she is involved in a variety of projects related to increasing access to high quality education in the field of animal training and behavior. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, teenager, and two dogs.
My name is Kierah Moore and I have been in the behavior realm for almost 10 years. It all started with a Chicago kid working on a farm for college credit. Upon receiving my Bachelors in Animal Sciences, I eventually made my way to Petco, which is where I have spent my last 4 years. This is where I get to train dogs, trainers, and make an impact on pet parents lives every day. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a passion of mine that gives my purpose regularly. It has slowly become my north light over the years. Empowering me to be the change that I want to see
In the past 5-10 years, the range of conditions that dogs can help with has greatly increased, especially with conditions that involve scent. From diabetes to seizure alert, and even psychiatric disorders, dogs are trained to help manage or prevent challenging and sometimes life-threatening episodes. What is the reliability as well as the limits of medical alert service dogs? What type of dogs work best? Who can most benefit from such specialized dogs? I’ll also discuss some of the latest findings in the field of seizure alert dogs. Epilepsy is a condition that can greatly limit a person’s ability to live a full and independent life. This complicated disorder presents unique challenges from a trainers’ perspective. I’ll describe how medical alert service dogs are trained at Medical Mutts Service Dogs, from sample collection to live alerts.
– Dogs in the medical field – what conditions do they help with today
– The benefits of medical alert service dogs
– Who can such dogs help – the ideal candidate
– What do we know about the smell?
– A step-by-step process:
* The indication behavior
* Pairing the scent with the alert – Pros and cons of different types of alerting behaviors
* Developing live alerts
– Reliability of medical alert dogs: example of seizure alert dog study
– What can affect odor perception
– Night alerts
– Additional behaviors trained to help
Darris will explore the effects of inclusionary behaviors and how an understanding of behavioral science can help to foster a sense of community and belonging. He will delve into the impacts and influences these interactions can have on animal professionals, businesses, pet parents, and the communities in which we serve. At a time when tensions and temperatures are high in many ways, taking the small step to identify and utilize the tools already within your toolbox is an approximation worth acknowledging and celebrating.
Uli grew up in Germany, but spent three years of her youth in Spain. She participated in several dog sports with her Catalan Sheepdog, and soon she noticed that training dogs and their humans was much more important to her than she had anticipated. Helping owners with their family dogs’ behavior problems soon became her passion.
After moving to Santiago de Chile with her husband, she dedicated time to raising their three children and founded her dog training business www.citydogs.cl with the country’s first puppy socialization program for owners. Ever since she has been creating awareness of the significance of puppy socialization through talks for owners and an internship program for trainers.
From 2018-2022 she directed the IAABC Español Division. Uli lives in Santiago de Chile with her human family, three cats, two target-trained Mediterranean tortoises and her Border Collie Luke, the tortoise detection dog.
Nicole is a trainer and animal behavior professional with over 15 years of experience working with animals with behavioral problems. She is a U.S. Veteran and began her career as a Military Police Dog Handler/Trainer for the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense. She is passionate about helping pet owners develop a loving and enriching bond with their pets through positive reinforcement and holistic treatment methods. She is a Boston native and is owned by rescues Peter, Huckleberry cat and Oscar the tortoise.
Catja lives with a retired older cocker spaniel, who still loves to work, and a younger Australian Koolie, who is starting his first competitions. Since 2009, when she finished her instructors’ course, Catja has been working full-time with teaching on the topic of training, both online and at in-person workshops and conferences. She is always on the path of continued education and curious to learn.
She has competed in the highest level of working trials including obedience, tracking and search and rescue and has also been working with drug detection and rally obedience over the past years. But no matter if she works with working or family dogs, her focus is on developing the basic skills through clean training sessions and fluency in the trainers’ skills. She is passionate about clean training, fluency, shaping, back chaining and giving the learner choice in the training. Practicing the basics and having great mechanical skills, is one of the things that will elevate your training to the next level, in her opinion. She believes that every dog handler can and should work with their dog, and that planning your session to be as clean and efficient as possible, will create more reinforcement opportunities for both learner and teacher.
Catja’s first focus is to teach 80 different basic skills, that makes it possible to teach just about anything “advanced” later. Dividing all training into the smallest behaviors possible, before even thinking of adding the cue and setting the stage for clean training loops, is a high priority. She uses shaping wherever it is possible, and always tries to have a clean, smooth session, with clear information for the dog while removing all background distractions.
Meeting the learner where they are and getting to be part of team growth is the most rewarding thing for her. Catja works with learners at all levels and also believes in continued education for everyone.
Matthias Lenz has over 10 years’ experience as a professional dog trainer, and is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP). He works full time as the Puppy Raising Manager for ‘BC & Alberta Guide Dogs’ and helps pet dog owners through his business ‘Lenz Dog Training’. He is a Supporting Member of the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC) where he served as the Chair of the Working Animals Division for two years before taking on his current role as board member with the IAABC Foundation.
An engaged and well-respected member of the international dog training community, he has written and published several articles in the peer-reviewed IAABC journal, and has presented his work at international conferences and events, including the 2019 and 2022 Assistance Dogs International (ADI) conferences.
Dr. Kristina Spaulding has been in the dog training and behavior profession for over 20 years and owns Science Matters Academy of Animal Behavior LLC. She has a B.S. in wildlife ecology and a PhD in biopsychology—the study of the biological basis of behavior—and is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. As part of her graduate training, Dr. Spaulding was formally trained in effective teaching techniques. In graduate school, she received an award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student. She is currently a co-instructor for the graduate level course in animal behavior consulting at Virginia Tech.
Dr. Spaulding’s interest in teaching has carried over to her applied behavior work where she teaches a variety of online courses and webinars on the science of behavior. Dr. Spaulding also regularly presents on canine behavior science at conferences and other events. She is the author of The Stress Factor in Dogs: Unlocking Resiliency and Enhancing Well-Being.
She is particularly interested in stress, neurobiology, cognition, emotion, and well-being and how to apply these concepts to the prevention, early intervention, and treatment of behavior problems in dogs.
In 2019, Dr. Spaulding received the Association of Professional Dog Trainer’s (APDT’s) Member of the Year Award. She currently serves on the IAABC Foundation Board.
The past years, it appears that shaping has become the troublemaker of the class. It’s time to look at why this tool has gotten such a bad rep, and how we can change that. Done thoughtfully, through environmental setups and consistent feeding patterns, we provide all the information to our learner that we need, and can get very clean loops with high ROR. If we get in the habit of operationalizing and making plans, we have a real powertool on our hands, and it’s time to give shaping the comeback it deserves. How do we differentiate between all the names and labels shaping has gotten? I’m suggesting, let’s not! Let’s relive this oldie, but in a version we can all work with. We will look at how we plan and structure sessions, how we execute them and how we progress by using our data. In short, we want to be efficient and make every moment count. We will also talk about when it is a great tool, and when it’s not the best option.
Melissa Taylor is the Behavior and Training Manager at Friends For Life Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas. Melissa has logged more than twenty years in shelter animal behavior, starting with an internship at the ASPCA’s Animal Behavior Center in New York City. She developed a lasting love for cooperative care from training livestock and wildlife as the Coordinator of the Behavior and Training Department at the Houston SPCA, and applies the same principles to the dogs, cats, exotics, and humans she works with now at Friends For Life.
Over the course of her career, Melissa has focused on the development of shelter humane education programs, particularly those for volunteers, with the intention of mentoring new companion animal trainers and behavior consultants with practices steeped in evidence and based on building trust, security, and partnership. Melissa has started several shelter behavior volunteer programs and consults with other humane organizations on starting such initiatives of their own.
Sarah Rodriguez graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Psychology. She went on to earn her CPDT from the Ethology Institute. She owns her own dog training business, Home Schooled Hound, where she helps clients both in person and virtually to build deeper relationships with their pets through training. She is also Fear Free certified and works with a local Fear Free veterinary office doing in service training to help create a low stress experience for their canine and feline patients. In addition, she helps interested clients learn how to teach their pet animal husbandry behaviors, so they can provide stress free care.
Born with a neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, she uses a power wheelchair to get around. She enjoys empowering others with disabilities to creatively come up with ways they can train their own dog and build a lasting bond between them.
Sarah shares her home with her dog, Annie, and her parrot, Gracie. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering and fostering for shelters and rescues and teaching her pets tricks. She regularly attends animal behavior conferences to stay up to date on the latest scientific findings to provide the most recent training techniques to her clients.
Alison Stannard Is a freelance designer who’s been working with the IAABC Foundation and the IAABC for nearly 15 years.
Ben Chambers is a grant writer and fundraising consultant based in St. Louis, MO who oversees foundation and corporate grants for the IAABC Foundation. He has nearly a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, with experience in public advocacy, public media, mental health, and a variety of other causes. Ben is an avid animal lover who has a Golden Retriever named Rosie and an Orange Tabby named Meeko. He loves spending time with his wife, Ashley, and his two sons, Elliot and Carson.
Dr. Denise Johnson is a general practitioner of veterinary medicine with a special interest in behavior, particularly feline behavioral wellness. She spends her free time working on Committed to Claws, an education project that aims to reduce declawing by providing cat owners and pet professionals with humane scratching solutions. Dr. Johnson also serves as a handling lab facilitator for the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, with qualifications including Elite Fear Free Certification and Low Stress Handling Silver Certification.
Joan Forry, Ph.D., is a certified dog trainer (CPDT-KA) and owner of The Dog Abides, LLC in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.
Joan holds a Ph.D. in philosophy (2008) with a specialization in applied ethics from Temple University. Prior to working as a dog trainer, Joan was a philosophy professor and taught applied ethics courses, including animal ethics. She held academic appointments at Vanderbilt University, Linfield College, and the University of Southern California. She is a graduate of the Academy for Dog Trainers, and certified Fear Free Professional.
When she’s not training dogs in her community, she sometimes trains her own six dogs. She enjoys competing with Gustavo, her old, cranky chihuahua mix in Rally Obedience. She also enjoys working on her ongoing photography project, Miles on Hydrants.
Tiro Miller Ph.D SBA is the managing editor of the IAABC journal, lead author of the monthly newsletter, and Chair of advertising and promotions.
He lives in San Francisco with his partner and a rather demanding chihuahua, where he volunteers at the SFSPCA and writes in his spare time.
His favorite thing about working for IAABC is the chance to bring together people with unique and interesting perspectives on animal behavior.
Beth (she/her/hers) has been an animal enthusiast her whole life, but started making it into a professional career when she started volunteering at a shelter. She has since earned her CPDT-KSA, CCUI, and CCBC, and is very passionate about bringing cat behavior and welfare into the 21st century. She works as a private consultant for anyone having behavior issues with their cats or dogs, and working to find solutions that work for people and their animals in their normal, everyday life.
In her personal life, Beth lives with her husband and 4 dogs (Picabo, Niflheim, Baby Cthulhu, and Senua) in Houston, Texas and enjoys reading, crocheting, diamond painting, and really anything else that seems like fun at the time, and changing her hair color as frequently as possible.
Sandy Crosby is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal and Strasbourg University in France. Having spent her working career in high tech for the Department of National Defense, in Ottawa, she happily retired in 2005.
After retirement Sandy obtained new skills for Search and Rescue for herself and one of her dogs, Bö. She now uses these skills to teach tracking and air-scenting to students who enjoy working outdoors.
Teaching dog training since 1997, Sandy is CPDT-KA and IAABC-ADT certified. She is a huge supporter and practitioner of methods that are kind, positive and scientific based for her human and canine students.
Sandy has been a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) since 2004, Responsible Dog Owners of Canada (RDOC) since 2009, a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) evaluator since 2006, and a member of the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC) since 2017.
Sandy is enjoying a happy retired life of country living in Ottawa, Canada, with her hubby, Pat, and Rottie, Bender.
Courtney Johnson has been in the video world for over 13 years, and has produced over 500 videos ranging from weddings to advertisements, and anything in between.
Her passion began in a videography course she took throughout her high school years. During which she honed her skills for everything film, from pre production through post. Since then she has worked to create videos with many professionals including but not limited to: Radio Systems Corporation® (PetSafe®), The Virginia Holocaust Museum, Veterinary Emergency Treatment Fund (VetFund®), Honest To Dog®, and countless others.
Her passion for animals started at a young age, and flourished to a deeper understanding of animal fundamentals when she began working alongside Michelle Mullins. Her training alongside Michelle taught her the proper foundations of how to appropriately approach every animal and their quirks with respect and understanding.
Now, Courtney has the truest honor of working with the IAABC Foundation as their lead Video Editor. Helping to promote and encourage the power of knowledge in all things animal and training. She continues her studies in videography daily in pursuit of perfecting the craft, while also gaining the cognizance that all IAABC Foundation lecturers have to give. Meshing her two purest passions, animals and videography.
Helen is the owner and operator of No Monkey Business Dog Training. Based in Concord, New Hampshire, she is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA) and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and an Operation Socialization Certified Trainer (OSCT). Helen has been training dogs for over 19 years. She is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, a member of the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals and is a certified member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a member of the Pet Professional Guild. Helen is also a licensed Dogs and Storks presenter, a licensed Dogs and Toddlers presenter, and a certified AKC evaluator.
Helen’s skills range from teaching basic life skills to behavior modification of serious problems including aggression, as well as service dog training. Helen is constantly going to continuing education seminars to learn more about the fascinating world of dog behavior, and she has been featured on the radio, in print, and on T.V. for her work. She volunteers countless hours at the local SPCA and works with homeless dogs to help them learn skills to find a home that is lasting and successful. Her two large facilities in Concord offer state of the art experiences for people wanting to better their relationship with their dogs, offering classes for reactivity, nosework, agility and so much more.
Helen strongly believes that true success in dog training is learning how to educate people kindly, compassionately and fairly so they can be better handlers for their dogs and understand them more. Helen has 9 dogs of her own, and runs a senior and hospice dog rescue out of her home also. When she’s not training her dogs, she’s spending time with her daughters, her horse, and her husband.
Nini is a dog behavior trainer from Taiwan. She established the I Know Pet Behavior Training brand located in the south of Taiwan with her sister who is also a dog trainer.
Nini is a professional dog trainer certified by Karen Pryor Academy. The main job is pet’s behavior training, including cue training and problem behavior adjustment. In her point of view, she pays attention to offering comfort and high quality walking and also giving choices for dogs to improve most problem behavior efficiently.
She has many experiences of being invited as a lecturer by many pet related organizations. She hopes to expand positive- based training by education to make the pet parents more understand dog behavior and enhance the relationship between them and their pet.
She also has experience of working dog training. She has taken Detection dog course at Tarheel Canine and joined a pilot study collaborating with US Fish & Wildlife Service and US Geological Survey as a handler of avian botulism detection dog. Due to the passion of scent work, she sets up related courses of scent work in I Know Pet Behavior Training to make pet parents enjoy the fun of cooperation with their pets becoming the best partner to each other.
Kira’s career was in restaurant management when she decided to follow her lifelong passion with animals. Today she works at a shelter giving second chances to those who can’t stand up for themselves. She works with dogs and cats that come from other shelters and are deemed unadoptable, and would otherwise be euthanized. Everyday she gets to help an animal live a better life is a great day for her.
In her personal time Kira values learning new things that she can use to help the animals. She enjoys anything to do with arts and crafts, reading, and spending time with her peers.
Ken Ramirez is the EVP and Chief Training Officer for Karen Pryor Clicker Training where he helps to oversee the vision, development and implementation of training education programs. Previously, Ken served as EVP of animal care and training at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. A 40+ year veteran of animal care and training, Ramirez is a biologist and behaviorist who has worked with many zoological organizations and dog programs throughout the world.
Ken’s work has included guide dogs, service dogs, law enforcement, search and rescue, film and television, and countless private clients. He is past president of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association and has been active in various leadership positions within IMATA for over 30 years. He hosted two successful seasons of the TV series Talk to the Animals. Ramirez authored the book ANIMAL TRAINING: Successful Animal Management through Positive Reinforcement in 1999 and most recently The Eye of the Trainer in 2020. He taught a graduate course on animal training at Western Illinois University for 20 years. He currently teaches at ClickerExpo every year, offers hands-on courses and seminars at the Karen Pryor National Training Center (the Ranch), and teaches online courses through Karen Pryor Academy.
Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Certified Animal Behavior Consultant
Dr. Mary Burch is the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Director. She is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, one of less than 100 in the United States and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (the human end of the leash).
Dr. Burch has trained dogs to the advanced levels of obedience and she is considered an international expert on the topic of therapy dogs. She is the author of eight books including “Volunteering with Your Pet” and “How Dogs Learn,” and over 200 articles on dog-related topics. She has lectured at universities and colleges and has given presentations on canine behavior throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.
Her work with therapy dogs has been featured in US News & World Report, Newsweek and Readers’ Digest. Dr. Burch’s book, “Citizen Canine,” was the training Book of the Year for the Dog Writer’s Association of America and in 2013, she was inducted into the DWAA Hall of Fame.
Dr. Burch is a founding member of the Animal Trainer’s Forum in the Association for Behavior Analysis. Dr. Burch has also been a lobbyist on legislation pertaining to dangerous dogs and responsible dog ownership. She served as a member of a county Animal Control’s “Dangerous Dog Committee,” determining if dogs were to be declared dangerous and the course of action.
Dr. Burch has appeared on “Martha Stewart Living TV” and “Animal Planet” as well as numerous radio programs to discuss animal training.
Dr. Burch is frequently interviewed for print media (newspapers, magazines) on topics related to canine behavior.
Director, IAABC Foundation
Rochelle Burtt is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through IAABC and a Certified Behavior Consultant (Canine) through CCPDT. Her love of animals was realized at a very young age when she was known for saving baby birds, stray animals, and even the odd worm from the fishing bait box! She earned a diploma in Animal Science nearly 30 years ago but then went on to study Computer Science at the University of New Brunswick and subsequently worked in the field for many years. She returned to working with animals on a full-time basis many years ago as a Behavior Consultant and Service Dog Trainer.
Rochelle is passionate about promoting the LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive) model and animal rights and welfare through the development, distribution, and promotion of education through the IAABC Foundation.
When she’s not promoting education, Rochelle enjoys a country life with her husband, four sons, a Labrador Retriever, and a senior cat. Flower and vegetable gardening are what help keep her ‘grounded’.